A CELEBRATION OF OUR NATIONAL PARKS Writer and historian Wallace Stegner famously called our national parks “The best idea we ever had.” The opening reception for the David Brower Center’s new juried group exhibition, Common Ground: A Celebration of our National Parks, is tonight, Friday May 20, and the exhibition runs through Sept. 8. On the 100th anniversary of the National Park System, the multimedia exhibition observes art’s crucial role in preserving our parks, as well as the notion that parks are America’s best idea, through the lens of 20 Bay Area artists. They are: Alexis Arnold, Jenny E. Balisle, Tony Bellaver, George-Ann Bowers, Mariet Braakman, Hopi Breton, Kimberley D’Adamo-Green, Marshall Elliott, Tanja Geis, J.M. Golding, Jeff Greenwald, Andras Ladai, Malcolm Lubliner, Kara Maria, Kim Miskowicz, Karen Preuss, Ansley West Rivers,Caroline Seckinger, Paul Taylor and Christopher Woodcock. The jury is composed of recognized West Coast curators Stephanie Hanor (Mills College Art Museum), Katrina Traywick (Traywick Contemporary), Sean Uyehara (Headlands Center for the Arts) and the Brower Center’s Executive Director, Laurie Rich. The Brower Center has also curated a series of public programs in conjunction with the exhibit. For full details and opening times, visit the David Brower Center. (Berkeleyside is a media sponsor of Common Ground.)
SPLATHOUSE: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE Before Impact Theatre “suspends its campaign,” as the presidential contenders say, the 20-year-old company goes out with Splathouse: Plan 9 from Outer Space, a live/film hybrid adaptation of the best worst movie ever made. Plan 9 opens May 21 at Impact Theatre’s home, La Val’s Subterranean in Berkeley. Sarah Coykendall and PD & the Bug direct the adaptation by Coykendall and Mike Delaney. Film segments are by PD & the Bug. At the end of June, the company will leave La Val’s, its home for the past 13 years, and go on hiatus while company members re-form Impact into a new incarnation to be announced sometime in the future. “It’s a truly bittersweet moment for us,” said Artistic Director Melissa Hillman, who also has a not-to-be-missed moment in Plan 9. “We are tremendously sad to have had to make this decision to move on, but I am incredibly proud of not only our 20-year history but also the season we’re concluding. It’s one of our strongest seasons ever and has epitomized the best of what we do.” For details of the show and to buy tickets, visit Impact Theatre.
HIMALAYAN FAIR Under the towering oaks and redwood trees of North Berkeley’s Live Oak Park the vast marketplace and festival that is the Himalayan Fair, which was launched in 1983, returns to Berkeley on Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22. Expect more than 100 shops, live music, Tarot, Massage, Ayurveda, travel information, Himalayan kids’ craft table, Momos freshly made by the Tibetan community, plus fresh authentic Nepalese and Indian foods. The Himalayan Fair offers a rare occasion to experience a unique Himalayan festival without leaving the Bay Area. For full details, including a vendor map, visit the Himalayan Fair.
FREE GUIDE TOUR OF TILDEN’S BOTANIC GARDEN Want to learn about California native plants? Join a free docent-guided tour of Tilden Park’s Regional Parks Botanic Garden. You’ll spend about an hour walking through the garden with a knowledgeable docent and learn about this beautiful and tranquil living museum of California native plants. The tour is appropriate for adults and children. No reservations are necessary. Just meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at 2 p.m. These free guided tours are in fact offered every Saturday at 2pm and on Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tours are also given most holidays throughout the year at 2pm, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Note: Tours are canceled if it’s raining.
FERMATA AT KALA ART INSTITUTE The Fermata exhibition at Kala opened Thursday May 19, and runs through July 1. The show presents artists who explore the psychological disjunction in our contemporary life caused by its fast pace and rapid changes, such as disconnections between mind and information, body and image, reason and result. It considers what is real and what we believe is real, and more. The featured artists are: Nelleke Beltjens, Wioleta Kaminska, Indira Martina Morre, Courtney Sennish, Hannah Skoonberg, Young Suh & Katie Peterson, The Bureau of Linguistical Reality (Alicia Escott & Heidi Quante), Jiajun Wang, and Kazuko Watanabe. For details visit the Kala Art Institute.
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